All Individuals Living With Cerebral Palsy, and Other Disabilities, Deserve a Life Without Limits
By United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) on February 28, 2019
March is #CerebralPalsyAwarenessMonth
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Should a trauma at birth or accident deny you the chance to experience life’s milestones and accomplishments? Imagine a world where your independence and freedom to make your own decisions, were impacted by not only your level of ability, but societal expectations as well? This is a reality for more than 4 million people in the United States living with cerebral palsy, Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disability (ID/DD), or other physical disabilities.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a national organization and one of the oldest healthcare and human services non-profits in the United States, believes that all individuals living with cerebral palsy, and other disabilities, deserve a life without limits, a life with opportunities to receive a quality education, obtain employment, live independently, and start a family if they so choose. Most importantly, we believe every individual living with a disability has the right to have their voice heard and to be a decision maker in their own life. UCP National’s affiliate network provides support and services to more than 172,000 children and adults living with disabilities and their families.
UCP has advocated for the full inclusion of people living with disabilities for the last seven decades in order to create equal opportunities, and most importantly, provide a voice for the disability community.
UCP has been on the forefront of the disability rights movement since the beginning. As an organization that was created by families looking for answers and resources for their young children with cerebral palsy in the late 1940s, UCP is recognized today as a trusted leader for people with a wide range of disabilities. We are proud to serve the disability community through a network of 64 independent and well-respected affiliates across the country and Canada. Each affiliate is responsible for providing the highest quality of direct services for individuals with disabilities and their families. With the support of compassionate and dedicated parents, families, donors, advocates and volunteers, all committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities, United Cerebral Palsy continues to be one the largest and most influential health and human service nonprofit organizations in the United States. Through seventy years of advocacy and successful policy reform at the Federal and State levels, by UCP and affiliates, an individual living today in the United States with cerebral palsy, ID/DD and other disabilities, has the best chance in the world to live a long and healthy life.
The purpose of the organization is to promote the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and other conditions, through an affiliate network. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions of individuals living with disabilities. Since 1949, UCP has worked to ensure the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to live their own dreams, for the next 70 years, and beyond.
Individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities deserve every opportunity to live life to the fullest. UCP strives to make that happen. The national office, located in Washington, DC, provides many opportunities for its 64 affiliates that include, but are not limited to, networking opportunities with similar national disability organizations , legislative advocacy (through the partnership with ANCOR), and national brand protection. UCP’s national office also serves people with disabilities and others through the Bellows Fund which provides grants to individuals and families in need of financial assistance to purchase or repair assistive technology devices. The grants are distributed via local affiliates through annual funding allocated by UCP.
The network of affiliates offers a range of services tailored to its own community's needs programs which includes but is not limited to: therapy, assistive technology training, early intervention programs, individual and family support, home and community based services, socialization, afterschool programs, community living, state and local referrals, employment assistance and advocacy. Affiliates can be found in 32 states including the District of Columbia and two provinces in Canada providing vital services.
UCP is a trusted resource for individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and their families, caregivers and friends. As a leading source of information on cerebral palsy and intellectual and developmental disabilities UCP is a pivotal advocate for the rights of persons with any disability. In fact, there is a significant percentage of people served by UCP affiliates who are diagnosed with a disability other than cerebral palsy.